Obama arrives at NATO summit with a revised US strategy in Afghanistan: Stay past 2014
As Obama prepares for a longer commitment in Afghanistan, he must also convince allies convening at this weekend's NATO summit in Lisbon to extend their support.
(Page 2 of 2)
As Obama prepares the US for a long-term commitment in Afghanistan, he must also convince NATO allies to continue their support over the coming years. As in the US, many member states supporting the war effort face a war wary public at home who increasingly disapproves of the war. Additionally, though many nations will continue to support the mission in Afghanistan with troops, they are only deploying their forces in noncombat roles, leaving the US and the British to do most of the fighting, reports CNN.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
In large part, the handover strategy will depend on the ability of NATO and their Afghan counterparts to adequately train 134,000 Afghan police officers and 170,000 soldiers within the next year, reports Russia’s RTT News. To date, most Afghans do not trust their security forces, which are widely seen as corrupt and incapable of resisting anti-government forces like the Taliban without the support of foreign troops.
During the two-day NATO summit, which will also address the organization’s overall strategy for dealing with the threats of the 21st century, officials are expected to admit to making mistakes in Afghanistan. However, they are likely to emphasize that they have learned from these mistakes and are ready to face the challenges ahead.
“I think that, seen retrospectively, we underestimated the challenge and our operation in Afghanistan didn't have sufficient resources, and yes, that was a mistake,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a report by Britain’s Sky News.
Over the course of the last week, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has been increasingly standoffish with NATO forces. In an interview with the Washington Post last weekend, he called on international troops to reduce military operations and stop their controversial night raids. His remarks created a public dispute between him and top military commander General David Petraeus.
However, it now appears that Karzai is ready to make amends with NATO officials. During the Lisbon summit he is expected to meet privately with a number of top officials from various member states. Additionally, the Pajhwok Afghan News service reports that Karzai will give an address to the summit in which he will “highlight the Afghan government’s strategy and proposals aimed at an enduring cooperation with NATO member states.”